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This is something that confuses me sometimes. Are these two words interchangeable? I think upon is slowly becoming obsolete. I find that "on" is usually the better word to use. The only time I use upon is when I mean "thereafter" and when I'm writing something formal.

I'll be glad to hear your thoughts on this. Perhaps I'm missing something here.

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'Upon' is a more formal version of the preposition 'on', though they are mostly interchangeable. The only time I can think of that upon would sound particularly better than on is in "She came upon a fox den while walking in the woods." instead of "She came on a fox den while walking in the woods." though both sentences are grammatically correct.

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I'm not sure if I read sometime ago that upon is certainly becoming obsolete, but I know that it is still in use and sounds better in formal writing when used instead of "on" in certain phrases but, those phrases depend on your sole criteria.

In example, I usually use upon when I refer to  "get paid upon completion of a job," or "the application will be approved upon receipt of your documents."

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Yes, "upon" is becoming obsolete.  It comes across as very formal in most usage.  In some cases it's deliberately so, as in the case of the preamble for a fairy tale: "Once upon a time...."

"On" can usually be substituted for "upon."  But there are some subtle differences in the meanings of the two words:

"Upon" means "up and on."  As in "placed upon a pedestal."

It can also mean "immediately" or "soon after." As in "payable upon receipt."

"On" means  "attached to" or "in connection with."  It can also mean "supported by."

There are some more details on this here:

http://www.reference.com/motif/science/on-vs-upon

But I agree that these days, "on" pretty much has replaced "upon" in most cases. 

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This is something that confuses me sometimes. Are these two words interchangeable? I think upon is slowly becoming obsolete. I find that "on" is usually the better word to use. The only time I use upon is when I mean "thereafter" and when I'm writing something formal.

I'll be glad to hear your thoughts on this. Perhaps I'm missing something here.

I use this word in the same way, CalebMelvern. I only use "upon" when I would like to be formal, and I only see this word being used in very formal or legal documents. I never see or hear this word being used in every day modern language. Most persons are using "on" nowadays.

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